CEBU

‘Include wellness in designing work spaces’

RESEARCH firm Colliers is urging developers to incorporate wellness-in-workplace design and solutions to attract top-tier tenants and help them achieve employee productivity.

In its latest study, Colliers brought forward the concept of wellness as a new come-on to lure high-profile tenants.

Victoria Gilbert, Colliers International Asia’s associate director for wellness consulting, pointed out that wellness is becoming a key component of workplace strategy, with tenants eyeing to design the best workplaces to enhance employee engagement and productivity, and developers aiming to attract higher caliber tenants and potentially lease more quickly and at higher rates.

In Asia Pacific and globally, the promotion of wellness in the workplace has shifted from a corporate social responsibility (CSR) consideration to a strategic priority, as more companies recognize the role it plays in driving business results, said Colliers.

A study by GSK Global Healthcare estimates that pain-related productivity losses cost companies across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines the equivalent of $44.6 billion in 2016 or 2.4 percent of the countries’ combined gross domestic product.

In the Philippines, Filipinos’ spending on health-related expenditures grew by an average of 8.2 percent per year, from 2009 to 2016, faster than the growth of other consumer spending sub-sectors such as hotels and restaurants (7.3 percent), food and beverage (5.5 percent), communication (5.1 percent), and clothing and footwear (1.4 percent), data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.

This indicates that health and wellness are among Filipinos’ major priorities.

“Landlords and tenants should keep in mind that promoting employee wellness is not a cost but an investment. Crucial to this is proper execution of wellness initiatives in the workplace to generate the intended results,” explained Dom Fredrick Andaya, Colliers International Philippines’ director for office services.

He pointed out that as developers ramp up construction of office towers, product differentiation plays a crucial role in ensuring that buildings are appropriate for the needs of the tenants given the increasing options in the market.

“Today’s labor force is also more discerning in choosing which companies to work in and the type of workspace is critical in attracting and retaining the best talent,” said Andaya.

Colliers’ findings reinforces that of Urban Land Institute (ULI)-Philippines’ pronouncement that developers in this digital era must erect projects that would not only bring in huge profits but also create happy, healthy and wealthy communities.

“Many would benefit from building healthy places,” said Raymond Rufino, ULI-Philippines National Council, during his recent visit to Cebu.

ULI has been working to raise awareness of the direct link between human health and the built environment and the health consequences from land use decisions and development patterns.

A survey by McGraw Hill in the US showed that 71 percent of renters would like to live in a health-promoting community, one with walking paths, sidewalks and trails.

In the commercial market, 78 percent of millennials said a healthy workplace is a top priority and 69 percent were willing to trade other benefits for it. (KOC)


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